Made our 4:45 departure from Victoria joined by Irish Mist and Explorer pushing to cover the 90 miles to Bamfield by mid-afternoon. We enjoyed the sunrise over Victoria and Mount Baker off our sterns and entered the Straits of Juan de Fuca pointed for Race Pass. We were happy to be headed out on the Straits with an ebb tide, but with a northwest wind around 15 knots, we were still making about 10 knots. Fog and swell at 3-5 feet provided a good chance for us to both get our sea legs and practice navigating by radar.
We rounded Cape Beale at 13:45 where we left the fog and headed up Mills Peninsula in to Bamfield. Limited space at the dock required we raft up, so Deception docked first and Captain Brian and Mate Rowan assisted the rest of the fleet. Alan aboard Aquila demonstrated his rafting prowess with some guidance from Rowan as he managed to nestle Aquila up to Eldean and essentially parallel parked the boat between Navigator and Telita which were already rafted. He executed the feat so well, it hardly required fenders (although we’re glad they were there).
After rafting, we explored along Bamfield’s funky boardwalk in the direction of the general store. The board walk provides a nice stroll along Bamfields waterfront, and is an interesting contrast to Victoria’s – the waterfront is full of small, weathered and well-loved cottages, including one with a small a weathered plank on which was neatly stenciled “Paradise by the Sea”. We found the general store closed on Wednesdays, but we really just went for the opportunity to stretch our legs. After the walk John and Anne aboard Ajax hosted cocktails, Steve and Melissa aboard Navigator joined the Deception crew for dinner but no one made much of a late night of it given the long day.